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Referee Explains West Ham vs. Liverpool Cresswell Red Card Decision

The West Ham player was not sent off for a challenge against Jordan Henderson.

West Ham United v Liverpool - Premier League Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images

Of the many talking points that came from Liverpool’s first defeat of the season at the hands of West Ham, one of the biggest was Craig Pawson’s decision not to send off Aaron Cresswell early on for a dangerous challenge against Jordan Henderson.

It went to VAR, but the decision was upheld, and Liverpool lost the opportunity of an advantage. The VAR referee was Stuart Attwell, and on Sky Sports, they quoted him as defending his ruling because “it didn’t have the required force, or intensity, or clear contact’”.

When asked about the decision in the post-match interview, Klopp didn’t see the situation in the same way.

“I saw only the situation with Aaron and Hendo now and the way I saw it now it’s a clear red card,” he said.

“There’s no discussion possible. don’t know if they (the officials) will probably say it’s because he touched the ball beforehand, but (it was) a reckless challenge.”

In a game of such ruthless fine margins, match outcomes hinge on these decisions — something that VAR was supposed to help with.

However, while a different choice had the potential to drastically change the game, in the end, Liverpool have no one but themselves to blame for losing the game and dropping three points for the first time this season.